WASHINGTON, D.C. (October 28, 2020) – The Golden Triangle Business Improvement District (BID) announces a collaboration with the Smithsonian to expand the Smithsonian American Women’s History Initiative – Because of Her Story into the streets of Washington, DC — offering locals and visitors the opportunity to enjoy museum-quality art outdoors.
The collaboration brings a new public art exhibition — Monument & Marker — to Connecticut Avenue, the iconic street connecting the White House to Dupont Circle. The exhibition, now on display, includes two artworks — Monument, created by NYC-based artist Maren Hassinger, and Marker, by DC-based artist Rania Hassan.
Launched in 2018, the Smithsonian American Women’s History Initiative is one of the country’s most ambitious undertakings to research, collect, document, display and share the compelling story of women. Monument and Marker represent the only public space artworks of the American Women’s History Initiative reaching beyond the walls of the Smithsonian.
Monument will be installed on the Connecticut Avenue NW Overlook, just south of Dupont Circle, and Marker will be located on the Connecticut Avenue NW median at K Street NW.
Formed from sticks and branches, Monument is part of Hassinger’s Monuments series — a group of sculptures first installed in Marcus Garvey Park in Harlem in 2018. Selected to complement the built environment, the artwork echoes the curvature of the Connecticut Avenue overlook and mirrors the shape of the underpass below. Monument honors the physical and social achievements of the community and celebrates the possibility of humans working together.
“I am honored to be among the first selected to create a public sculpture as part of the Smithsonian American Women’s History Initiative,” said Hassinger. “Monument will nestle appropriately in the selected space and will remind us in a gentle way of our origins and purposes.”
Hassan’s Marker is a monument to women’s histories and the fibers that connect us all. Based upon the artist’s knitting, the sculpture’s bright pink hue and bold steel shape are contrasted by its curvy and elegant forms. The artwork can be read as an oversized crown or an abstract knitting project that is at once unraveling and coming together.
“There are so few statues dedicated to women—I’m excited to be creating a public art sculpture for one of the most iconic intersections in the city that will represent a monument to all women’s stories and their achievements,” said Hassan. “My hope is this monument, Marker, will act as a beacon to spark an interest in the stories shared through the Smithsonian American Women’s History Initiative, and also encourage people to think about the women in their lives, and uncover their own buried histories.”
“We are excited to partner with the Smithsonian to bring Monument & Marker to Connecticut Avenue,” said Leona Agouridis, Executive Director of the Golden Triangle BID. “The project builds on our longstanding effort to bring museum-quality art to the Golden Triangle and to enhance the beauty of the neighborhood. The art will enrich the public space at a time when Washingtonians are spending more time outdoors for recreation, dining, and cultural activities.”
“We are thrilled to partner with the Golden Triangle to expand the American Women’s History Initiative into DC streets,” said Dorothy Moss, curator at the National Portrait Gallery and coordinating curator for the Women’s History Initiative. “The initiative illuminates women’s pivotal role in building and sustaining the country and expands what we know of our shared history. Monument & Marker addresses themes related to women as makers, create conversation about public monuments, and look at the history of women in public and private life.”
Monument & Marker will be on display from October 2020 for approximately one year. View and download photos of the artworks here.
Hassinger will also create a new performance commission, Birthright, to premiere in May 2021 as part of the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery’s IDENTIFY series dedicated to performance art as portraiture.
About the Golden Triangle Business Improvement District
Formed in 1998, the Golden Triangle Business Improvement District (BID) enhances Washington, DC’s central business district, the 44-square-block neighborhood stretching from The White House to Dupont Circle. Home to roughly 6,000 businesses, the BID provides a clean, safe, and vibrant environment for hundreds of thousands of workers, residents, and visitors, and encourages economic development through capital projects, public art, sustainability, and events. The Golden Triangle has been awarded LEED Platinum, the highest level of LEED certification, by the U.S. Green Building Council. It is the first BID in the world to be certified through the LEED for Communities program. For more information, visit: goldentriangledc.com and connect on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram with the #GoldenTriangleDC tag.
About the Smithsonian American Women’s History Initiative
The Smithsonian American Women’s History Initiative, Because of Her Story, is one of the country’s most ambitious undertakings to research, collect, document, display and share the rich, complete and compelling story of women in America. Launched in 2018, the initiative seeks to create a more equitable and just American society by creating, educating, disseminating, and amplifying the historical record of the accomplishments of American women. More information about the initiative, including exhibitions and public programs, is available online at womenshistory.si.edu and #BecauseOfHerStory
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